NKURENKURU - After a year of storing nothing in their traditional silos due to the drought spell, communal farmers in Kavango West region are now predicting a bumper harvest this season following good rains.
Due to last year’s drought that hit the country hard, inhabitants in the ever-green region also known for its good rains year in and year out, were left with their hands on top of their heads as they watched their crops die from the scorching heat.
However, the region was blessed with good rain this rainy season. For this, villagers took advantage of it, put in their efforts to plough as early as it started to pour. They are now looking forward to a good harvest.
“When it started raining heavily in December last year, we started ploughing. You can see the crops are in the fields. We are now showing off that we will be better off this year,” said Johannes Shatilwapo from Nyege village in Mpungu constituency as he toured this reporter into one of his crop fields.
He said that although there are some fields that were not ploughed because good rains were only received from December, which is the last month of the first half of the rainy season, the fields that were attended to have yielded crops very well.
Matheus Ihemba from Ekuli village in Tondoro constituency said that many people from his village and surrounding ones are also anticipating a good harvest. According to him, if it will come out as expected then they will not always have to dig deep into their pockets for flour.
There is however one thing that is giving them sleepless nights, marauding elephants that have already started terrorising some parts of the region since the beginning of March.
Elisabeth Hamunyera, from Nyege village said that if they will not be troubled by elephants then they will have something to eat but if they continue destroying crops as in recent years, all their hard work will go to waste which will bring hunger yet again.
Raina Kandjembo from Mutambo village had her crops destroyed by the elephants. “Now that they started destroying our crops we are not certain that there will be something left for us, all these that is here is for them now,” bemoaned Kandjembo.
When this reporter visited Kandjembo at mid-day, she and her family were still in their crop fields taking out some of the mahangu that has matured but not fully ready to be harvested to save them from being lost to elephants. The villagers continue to call on the government to gun them down or relocate them to national parks, as they are a serious threat to the region’s food security.
The region have continuously been terrorised by marauding elephants destroying food, community water points and homesteads.